Kingdom Collaboration: Breaking Down the Silos
by Adam Howard
Content Coordinator, CBN Europe
Let’s be honest; sometimes it’s hard to get churches to work together. It should be the easiest thing to do in the world, but for some reason it can often be the cause of so much friction. Kingdom collaboration must be able to unlock so much in our world that it is the very area that comes under most attack.
What would happen if the Church truly came together in one accord?
“Therefore if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ [as there certainly is in abundance], if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship [that we share] in the Spirit, if [there is] any [great depth of] affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ].” – Philippians 2:2 (AMP)
We’ve seen it so many times in movies and across our television screens, that when a hodgepodge, ramshackle, unqualified group come together with a clear goal or purpose, nothing seems to get in their way. Success flows when they unite under a common banner or when fighting a common enemy. It doesn’t matter about colour, culture or which part of Middle-Earth they come from, all that matters is the quest ahead.
Now I fully understand that life is somewhat different to the movies. But there is something in this well-trodden storyline that rings true. If ever there was a patchwork collection of people from so many varied walks of life and experience, it would be the local church. A place full of seemingly unqualified people, steeled by the voice of God and mandated to change the world.
The local church; a place full of seemingly unqualified people, steeled by the voice of God and mandated to change the world.
The local church is God’s plan to bring salvation to the world. We are the ones to take the gospel out to all the world. The gospel we carry is not dependant or reliant upon our stylistic preference. It does not require us to agree on every doctrinal dogma in order to be effective. Yet we put so much emphasis on these things that it pulls apart, rather than brings together.
Unity is never about being the same. That’s uniformity; a mould created by man and utilised by the enemy; a lie we believe that says ‘I must be like…’ in order to be effective, of worth or even loved. That is not what God calls us to. We were created differently so we could reach different people and spheres of influence. But we can still do that from a place of unity. Our uniqueness (styles, preferences, our internal wiring) is not mutually exclusive from our unity as the body.
For too long we (myself included) as the church have built silos. Individual expressions of the body of Christ, fenced off from the next. According to business website Investopedia.com, this silo mentality can be described as;
“a reluctance to share information with employees of different divisions in the same company. This attitude is seen as reducing the organization’s efficiency and, at worst, contributing to a damaged corporate culture.”
I’m not sure what the answer is. But I do believe that our effectiveness to reach people with the good news of Jesus is directly linked to our ability to come under one banner, united in purpose. That doesn’t mean we all have to become one denomination or style of church, but it means we put aside the doctrinal differences and stand together. Rick Warren said in his book The Purpose Driven Life that you can “walk arm in arm, without seeing eye to eye.”
For me, that sums it up. Clarity of the BIG picture that brings direction and purpose. How that is expressed for you locally, culturally or stylistically is less important. It must be about building His kingdom, not our empire.
Unity commands blessing. We must begin to tear down our silo mentality and realise that we are on the same side. If you have differences; chat them through, work them out, but don’t allow them to become bigger than Jesus. If you have been hurt by church or had disagreements in the past; come in humility and vulnerability before one another and God. Bring your wounds and allow His healing balm to begin to restore you again. Allow Him to lift your eyes above the human constructs and shift your perspective higher.
I want to be part of a ragtag, mishmash, assorted, eclectic bunch of people that change the world; against the odds, we come together to take a message of hope across the world; defeating enemies and slaying giants along the way, to restore the Kingdom of Light to a dark and barren land. I would watch that movie!
The exciting thing is, we actually get to be a part of it right here, right now, wherever you are.
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